Re-watching Old Favorites


While on vacation I had the chance to watch a couple of films that were favorites from the 80’s. Both are movies I loved enough to have seen multiple times, going so far as to own them on DVD. Both are films I haven’t picked up in at least (gulp!) eight years. It was funny the different reactions I had to each.

The first film I had the pleasure of viewing again was Highlander. Sci-fi/fantasy buff that I am I can remember being delighted upon my first viewing of this film. For those of you who missed it, this 1982 epic is about immortals fighting to the death. For reasons that are never quite explained there can be only one and the last guy standing gets “the prize”. We follow Connor MacLeod as he battles it out over the centuries, finally landing in 1980’s New York for the final battle. I recall watching it a second time with my husband in the nineties and loving it all over again. The TV series based on the film was buzzed about on the AAR boards. When I saw it again last week all I noticed was the clunky dialogue, bad special effects and some plotting problems. I still loved the original premise – I just think it really needs updating. And I couldn’t help but laugh at the green and black screen of the 80’s computer used in several scenes. And the lack of cool tools in the forensic lab. CSI it wasn’t.

Another problem I had was I didn’t buy the love story. Connor and Brenda somehow lacked chemistry for me.

On the other hand, An Officer and A Gentleman was as good upon re-viewing as it was the first several times I saw it. It helps that the acting is superb. Louis Gosset Jr. won an Academy award, Debra Winger was nominated for one as well. Richard Gere, while often mocked for his work, held his own among such luminous company. The screenplay was also nominated for an Academy, so I didn’t find clunky dialogue or bad plotting. I know I am not alone in finding it an excellent movie -it received a great deal of critical support when it came out. For those of you who haven’t seen it – and you really must – it is the story of a man who goes into officer candidate school to fly jet planes and gets a much better education than he ever bargained for. In just nine short weeks he learns the meaning of love, friendship and character. The love story is so strong here it can bring tears to the eye. And the chemistry between the two leads scorches its way off the screen.

So here is my question to you: Which old favorites have stood the test of time? Which haven’t?

– Maggie AAR

6 thoughts on “Re-watching Old Favorites

  1. Tee

    “Moonstruck” with Cher and Nicolas Cage has to be my all-time favorite movie. I could watch that one from one week to the next and still love it—the characters, story, everything.

    The next would have to be “Love With the Proper Stranger” starring Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen. It’s in black and white, but what a great story for the times. Surprisingly, it still works for me today.

    Another favorite is Sandra Bullock’s “While You Were Sleeping.” Excellent story and the characters were such fun.

    “Home for the Holidays” with Robert Downey, Jr, and Holly Hunter. A Thanksgiving coming-home film about a dysfunctional family. So well done.

    Honorable mentions would have to be “The Big Chill” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” They are wonderful movies that totally can pull me out of most anything. If I think of more, I’ll definitely come back and mention them. I’m not a movie buff, but there are those certain few that do it for me.

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  2. Lynda X

    Debra Winger said she channeled her absolute hatred of Richard Gere into passion in AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN.

    Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman fell in love during the making of THE LONG, HOT SUMMER, and boy, oh, boy, it shows. Talk about a scorching screen. . .

    For romance, I really don’t think you can beat NOTORIOUS with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant for romance. Yes, it’s blank and white, but it’s so elegant, so much fun and the h&h’s stubbornness so heartbreaking that it is a total pleasure.

    I adore THE BIG EASY. Very, very appealing h&h. Dennis Quaid is a go-along, get-along Cajun cop in New Orleans, and Ellen Barkin is the do-it-by-the-book prosecuting attorney. The chemistry between them is fabulous. The scene where they have sex for the first time is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

    If you like history and Romeo and Juliet, you can’t beat SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. Very colorful and a very touching love story.

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  3. Maggie AAR Post author

    Tee- I love Moonstruck and While You Were Sleeping. I haven’t seen Love with the Proper Stranger but I will add it to my netflix que.

    Lynda – LOL about Debra Winger. She must have hated him a lot because the passion is definitely there.

    I love Notorious. But then, Grant has the most amazing chemistry with just about all his on screen stars – loved him and Audrey Hepburn in Charade.

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  4. Herta

    Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis – a visual feast, superb acting, lovely romantic story, Gladiator with Russell Crowe, Man for All Seasons, Lady Caroline Lamb – both written by that brilliant playwright and screenwriter, Robert Bolt. Also Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia.

    Recently I watched an absolutely brilliant Peter O’Tool in Daniel Spanley – a wonderful emotional story that had me bawling in my hanky. If you haven’t seen it give it a try. Be patient…it takes about 15 minutes to get truly and absolutely hooked.

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  5. Leigh

    I tend to watch Sandra Bullock’s movies – the comedies, over and over. Or movies with Hugh Grant.

    An old favorite is Heart and Soul with Robert Downey Jr. and Kyra Sedgwick.

    I love the Fugitive with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee too.

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